Nottingham Forest will return to action in the Premier League on Friday night hosting Fulham at The City Ground, and Steve Cooper will surely be hoping that his team can bounce back from the disappointing defeat against Bournemouth in their last fixture.
Forest went from 2-0 up at halftime to 3-2 down by the final whistle when the Cherries made the journey to Nottingham for their clash over 10 days ago and refreshing the starting line-up could be a worthwhile endeavour for the Welsh manager to improve their form in the league.
The newly-promoted side are currently 19th in the Premier League table after losing their last three games and tallying up just four points over their first six outings, but with 22 new players joining the squad this summer Cooper is not short of options to find the right players to guide them into a much better position.
Following the poor defensive performance, it would be no surprise to see the Forest boss makes a change to his set-up in the backline and it could be the perfect opportunity for new signing Loic Bade to finally be unleashed in the team.
The former Stade Rennais centre-back who was hailed “dominant” by Jacek Kulig, joined the Tricky Trees in a loan move on Deadline Day and it was a great piece of business for the club considering Moussa Niakhate is set to be out injured for a few months with thigh problems.
It is reported that Forest will have a £12m option to buy the player should he impress Cooper during his time in Nottingham, and when you consider his output over the last 12 months in Ligue One, there is no doubt that he could make a positive impact on the team when given the chance.
Bade ranks in the top 15% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues for clearances, pass completion, progressive carries and touches over the last 12 months, proving that he is not afraid to get stuck into his opponents and displays quality when progressing the ball when in possession.
The 6 foot 3 French sensation could be the perfect player to bully Aleksandar Mitrovic when it comes to the Fulham game tomorrow night, with the striker being their fellow newly-promoted side’s biggest threat over the season so far scoring six goals in six appearances.
Stopping Mitrovic will be one of the key components to staying in control of the game and Bade can use his huge stature alongside his capabilities in winning duels, with the youngster completing 57% last season, to match the Serbian star’s powerful offensive play.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see how Cooper deploys his team in a must-win game for Forest on Friday night, taking all three points from the clash is essential to get them out of the relegation zone and in a good position to compete over the season ahead.